WestCommentaryGary West for ESPN points out that racing’s economic indicators are running counter to improving economic conditions.  That traces back to larger issues largely unsolved by the industry with regard to the primary product (it’s hard to figure out and even harder to use) and the long-term impact of utilizing alternative gaming to produce critically important purse dollars.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both soared to record highs this week. The Case-Shiller home-price index has registered its largest gains since 2006. Unemployment has dropped to 7.6 percent. The economy, many pundits insist, even if some wallets disagree, is getting stronger.

But amid this economic “recovery,” horse racing’s downward trend continues. Even worse, the main obstacle to reversing the trend is the industry itself — a sprawling, disorganized, captious, shortsighted, disputatious and frequently stupid cacophony of self-interest.

“The industry is paralyzed,” said Eugene Christiansen of Christiansen Capital Advisors, a research and consulting firm. And the industry’s problem, he said, is “secular,” meaning in economic terms that it’s fundamental, deep-seated and inveterate, that it’s beyond the palliation of Band-Aids…

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